Thursday, January 30, 2014

Note to Self

It's okay to ask for help.

You don't have to do it all by yourself.

Worst-case scenario, they say no, or they can't do anything right then and there. Best-case scenario, you get some new ideas, a fresh perspective, a solution to the problem, or at the very least, a hug and a smile when you need it.

Rinse, repeat. And repeat it again, until you believe it.

Quit making things so damn hard on yourself. Things are complicated enough some days without your super-hero mindset making it harder.

ORN:  3 miles walking at lunch with a friend from work. 6.5 miles running after work around Overton Park. I ran down Ranch View Road... I'm going to have to try to run UP that street one day... Will make Gorilla Hill look like a speed bump by comparison!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older 
All this time I was finding myself 
And I didn't know I was lost 
I tried carrying the weight of the world 
But I only have two hands
 -- Avicil, Wake Me Up

The wonderful thing about a bubble is that if you are inside it, when things get bumpy, you come up along the edge and it softens the blow. Even if the bubble is invisible and you forget that it's there.

Especially when you forget that it's there.

ORN: 5 miles done, right after work, in the 'hood around campus. Hella hilly, cold and brisk, but exactly what I needed. Slower than usual, but tonight's run was therapy in oh so many ways.

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Week

Fresh start. New beginnings. Like Rafiki says "It's in the past, it doesn't matter..." 

Or something like that. 

There is good all around me. I need to stop worrying about things I can't control & recognize them. I know at the top of that list are friends who know just the right things to say & when the best thing is to let me verbally spew and eventually work my own way back to reason. 

Circle of influence, Circle of concern & all that. 

Getting a decent night's sleep will help, too. Hard to function in the daylight when you're tossing and turning and channeling Bart Simpson in his big-boy bed at 2 AM... 

I'll be getting back to more regular blogging again. It's good for my mental wellness and helps me keep things in perspective. Keeps me accountable, too, with the OKC training. Win-win. 

For now, the couch, my sweet baboo, and a ruggedly handsome fictional writer & his detective fiancĂ©e are calling my name. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The love of the Game...

... cannot be explained. It has to be grown naturally and organically, fostered in my case by memories of watching Saturday baseball narrated by Vin Scully or Jack Buck or even Tim MCarver; by recollections of summer evenings at the ballpark, watching my brother's games and falling in love with the snap of the ball in the glove, the crack of a bat, the cheers of the crowd, and the sun dropping behind the outfield fence. There are things that can't be taught about the game, only experienced. 

Spent Saturday at my favorite place on the planet. I'm so ready for the season. 

What it appears that I'm not ready for right now is OKC. Seven miles of training this week was all I could muster. Recovery from 3M took longer than I thought then allergies swooped in and kicked my azz. I'm revising the training plan to repeat last week's mileage & get back on track. I'm considering this a step-back week. 

Balls. And not the good kind, with 108 stitches, either. Sigh. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What Doesn't Kill You

Makes you STRONGAH! 

I almost quit after the first mile into the wind. Actually circled back to the house & unlocked (but didn't open) the front door, ready to call it a night. 

Then I stopped, put on my big-girl panties & headed back out. I took Tuesday off because the race took more out of than I anticipated, but last night I just got lazy. I HAD to run today. So I did. 

It's not the coldest I've run in. It's not the windiest. It's not the toughest. It didn't kill me. And I guaran-damn-tee it will make me STRONGAH. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week 15 DONE: Precious Few

Another week of training in the books and was this one ever awesome! This week's long run was done while I ran the Austin 3M Half Marathon, complete with road trip and special birthday celebration. 

I had heard about this race for years & always had it on my list to do. A fast course, point to point, finishing up through the UT campus & at the state Capitol? Sign me up!! When MK decided this was going to be her birthday race, I signed up right away! An excuse to see my Freshman, combined with a road trip & Frunners couldn't be passed up. 

Then, to add to the fun, the Baseball Savant decided he was ready to tackle his second half. He signed up a couple of weeks after me & was excited to see what he could do without the hamstring tightness that, um, well, hamstrung him at Thanksgiving. 

So we loaded up the Jeep, mostly with the stuff the boy left behind when we dropped him off last week, and headed down to Austin. Packet pickup was crowded but well-run, and there was a nice little expo with a few samples & the usual wares. We headed to campus to retrieve the boy, then checked into our hotel to await Team K. After a little rest time, we had a great family-style dinner, complete with pasta & cheesecake, but certainly the highlight for me was the company. My favorite men plus two if my best Frunners. Can't ask for more. 

5 AM came early, and we were up for a brisk morning and what should've been a short drive to the race site. Siri was less than cooperative so (act surprised) we got a little turned around. Still we got there in time, unless you needed to hit the portapotties. Whoops. Sorry, Team K! Hey that's why it's chip-timed, right? 

I found the Savant and took a quick pic and gave him a good luck kiss, but then moved back in the corrals a bit. Even with a bum leg he's faster than me, so healthy I knew I had no chance to keep up with him. My race plan was just to take advantage of the mostly downhill course, keep up with my hydration & enjoy the day. I stuck to my routine I've been following in training of running 3-4 minutes then walking 20-30 seconds. Exact intervals are determined by my playlist, so it's usually pretty consistent unless I get a Meatloaf or Led Zeppelin song served up, in which case I want to die halfway though. 

The course was as advertised, mostly downhill, with just a couple of gradual uphills at 2-3 & mile 10. Crowd support was steady if not sparse in a few spots, but there were a few folks we saw two or three times. You gotta love the spectathlete. Makes me glad that we take time a few times a year to get our cheer on; it really makes a difference to the runners. 

One sign in particular really stuck out to me and I'm sad I didn't get a photo, but the message was clear and it was significant and I don't need a photo to remember it. It was at about mile 9 (NINE MILES!!) and it read very simply: "Precious few are able to do what you are doing." I forget this sometimes. I forget it a lot, actually. On my FB page just this weekend, I have hundreds of friends posting about their races in Houston, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Canada, among other places. I hang with a crazy crowd that thrives on endurance events, and I need to remember that what we do is not the norm for most of the population. It's easy to think that everyone runs half marathons (or longer) to celebrate their birthday, or that all groups of friends plan out monthly races & rides as social events because that's what we do. But it's not true, and the mere act of running 13.1 miles on a perfect Sunday morning should not be taken for granted. 

The downhill course definitely took a toll on my quads but it was such a beautiful day and I couldn't help but smile throughout. I thanked the Austin police profusely, high-fived the crowd, took photos on the run. And just when my legs would start to ache, one song would end & it was time to walk a bit. Pretty soon we were at Mile 10, on the one long uphill that was actually a welcome change but a challenge nonetheless. That really was the only time in the race I felt mentally down. And then the Frunner song came on my iPod and I got enough of a burst of energy and heartwarming love from the song that it got me up & over the hill. After that, it was literally all downhill, plus I knew the boy would be waiting for me just down the street from his dorm. 

Another half mile & I was at the finish! As I neared the mats I heard the Savant & Team K yell my name. So glad to be done but as usual, the pain & suffering I was feeling just minutes before dissipated the minute that medal went around my neck. Funny how that works. 

I definitely would recommend this race and I hope I can do it again. Buses took us back to the car at the start, where it was tough to know there were 6000 people there only hours before. Impressive logistics. 

So there you go. Another week done, another 22 miles closer to Oklahoma City. The soreness in my legs makes me anxious for the increase in mileage but I'm just going to focus on getting through each day on the plan, and trust that the training will carry me come race say. And I'm going to be thankful that I can even attempt this, because as the sign said, precious few can.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Week 16 DONE

Texas weather really didn't want me to run this week. Really. Texas weather made me WORK this week. 

Monday was 18 degrees. So cold. I was never so glad to have a rest day on Monday. I might have shared a banana split with my sweet baboo on an impromptu date during the nerdlet's Scout meeting. It was a good day to not be running. 

Tuesday was not quite as cold but still super chilly. It was actually about the most perfect weather for me, running wise. I cranked out four effortless miles after dinner. I felt great. 

And then Wednesday. No run on Wednesday. I was sick. Couldn't breathe. So congested. Hurt to swallow and my face ached. I hated to bail on a run so early in this training cycle but I remembered that whole balance thing. I also remembered I have a half-marathon on the schedule next weekend and didn't want to press. 

So I skipped Wednesday, heavily self-medicated & dragged myself to bed. Apparently I slept restlessly and woke up still stuffy. Thursday morning was foggy, misty & wet. Miserable. Almost as miserable as I felt. Allergies were still kicking my azz. But I had packed my running clothes and during lunch I got my Thursday miles in. They were slow & ugly but they were done. And I felt better afterward. Really better. I could breathe again. 

I could've made up Wednesday miles on Friday. But I chose dinner out with friends instead. It was a good choice. I'm not even going to pretend it wasn't. Saturday had us in Austin for the quickest trip ever. 

Sunday was windy. Okay it wasn't windy when I first got up. But it was by the time I headed out. And not just windy, but WINDY. Crazy windy. Soul-sucking windy.  Can't hear yourself think windy. And kind of hot. Hot enough that the water fountains being turned off (to avoid being frozen, thanks Texas weather) was a problem. It was a big problem. Big enough that after the third dry fountain I turned & headed home, calling it a day, with six of the scheduled 12 miles done. Honestly, that was about four miles more than I thought I'd get. 

But all afternoon, the missing six miles were on my mind. I couldn't shake them. I knew week 16 was too early to start making deals with myself. It's one thing to miss a run if I'm sick, something else entirely to bail because it's hard. DUH. Of course it's hard. It's marathon training. Nobody is making me do this. I chose this and I need to follow through. 

So after a long hot bath, lunch to celebrate my mom's birthday, and a nap, I put on my big-girl pants & went out for the last six miles. I chose a primarily east-west course so the wind would be minimized. I drank up throughout the afternoon, then just went out & got it done. Done. 

Week 16: 23 miles. Crazy weather. Done. 

Monday, January 06, 2014

Ice Cream Date

Sometimes, it's 2 weeks after Christmas & you need to take the tree down already... 

and sometimes, it's a rest day and what you really need is to split a banana split with your favoritest man in the whole world... 

So the tree will have to wait at least one more night. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Week 17 DONE

Hit all my mileage again this week, on the day they were scheduled even. Had an amazing time doing it.  By the way, I've decided to count down from 18 instead of up, so that's why we jumped from Week One to Week 17. It's my blog and I can count like I want to.

I love my Frunners and my FIGJAM girls. They definitely made my weekend rich and deeply satisfying.

We jiggled our butts for 5k and a great cause, and had a blast along the way. New FIGJAM tradition! 
Also, please let it be known that 9.5 miles of trails at Cedar Ridge is incredibly tough on your legs, no matter what pace you do it. But the rewards are plenty. 

Peppermint Patty came to visit for the weekend! 

Who put all these hills on my trail? 

Week 17: 25.8 miles total. Included a 5k race, a trail hike & three short weekday runs. 
And yes, it did cross my mind to go around the block for an extra .4 mile, but I ain't all nuts.